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A Barn Door Case

by Dr Angela Jones(more info)

listed in women's health, originally published in issue 45 - October 1999

Every now and again, one is presented with a case which is so perfect (in homeopathic terms) as to be unbelievable. This was the situation when Julia came to see me. Her story unfolded in way that was so uncannily typical for the medicine that she needed that I had to ask her whether she had read anything about homeopathy or its medicines. I suspected that she was studying homeopathy, had already diagnosed herself and was giving a skewed story as a result. She denied any previous knowledge, a denial which I believe to be true, and what follows is an account of her story.

Julia had, for some time, been struggling with menopausal symptoms. She found herself unable to cope with minor things and often felt close to tears. Her mood was apt to swing wildly from happy to despairing within the space of a few minutes. She described herself as lacking the "oomph" to do things, which resulted in chronic underachievement and low mood.

She was suffering from vasomotor flushes, whereby she would get extremely hot for no reason, preceded by the sensation of a cold trickle crawling up her body. After the hot flush, she would feel "horrible" for an hour or so, drained of all mental and physical energy. This cycle of events was obviously very debilitating.

Julia denied that what she was feeling was depression. She was not off her food or waking early (the two main features of depressive illness) and although she was low, she felt sure that this did not amount to actual depression. Although her appetite was all right, she did describe nausea at the smell of, though not at the sight of, food. She had noticed that she was more thirsty than usual, craving cold fizzy drinks.

Her sleep was far from perfect. She got off to sleep well but was disturbed frequently in the night by the flushes and by the crawling sensation that came on before. This was a very serious problem to Julia because she is wheelchair bound due to multiple sclerosis.

The same condition causes severe locking of the arm muscles in the night and so Julia is unable to move the covers off herself during a flush. As one can imagine, the discomfort and unpleasantness of the flushes was mag-nified hugely by Julia's disability.

Usually, Julia was a "freezer" – someone who feels the cold. She would normally perspire only over the nasal bridge but was now sweating all over the body. She was very keen on lemon, vinegar and pickles and also found that she was recently craving chocolate. She did not mind rainy weather but volunteered that she loved thunder.

Julia's last remark on her present state was that she felt that she could "spit bullets". She was very irritable and short tempered. This upset her as she has grandchildren on whom she dotes and she did not want to feel annoyed with them but sometimes could not help herself. To this I can add my own observation that she was clearly very frustrated and, in fact, cried tears of frustration on her arrival because she had been delayed in traffic and felt that she simply could no longer cope.

I will tell you that Julia is a brunette with olive skin and large eyes that should have been shiny but were dull with a sort of despair. For those who have a knowledge of homeopathy or who have read this column for a while, the medicine that she needed should be obvious. In fact I am not going to name it but will ask the editor to print it at the foot of this page.† In the meantime, here is what happened after she took three tablets of the 30c potency.

Julia took the first tablet on the evening of the consultation. The following morning she was amazed to find that she had slept through the night without being wakened by a flush. Through that day, she felt calmer and more in control and the flushes, although still occurring, were less intense. She took the last two tablets as directed and woke the following morning feeling her "old self", fully in control of the situation and positive. In fact, she says that she felt even calmer than usual.

Her response to her grandchildren was back to how it was before, whereby she coped with anything they could throw at her without batting an eyelid. There was no trace of the prior irritability. The crawling sensation on her skin had left her completely and the flushes were short lived and hardly noticeable. After two weeks, she had a slight recurrence for a week which settled spontaneously. Then, about eight weeks after the dose, the flushes started to become slightly troublesome again but without a full-blown recurrence of the emotional symptoms.

At this point she took another three tablets of the medicine and has since been completely back to form. She takes a dose at infrequent intervals, whenever necessary and is highly delighted with the outcome, which she views as something of a miracle. She still marvels that she could have felt so terrible one day and so well the next, after such a small dose of medicine.

This is something which still strikes me, as a homeopathic practitioner and physician, with awe. The fact that this small intervention had such a profound effect on this lady is a marvellous thing. It makes one wonder how many other patients could be similarly helped without the expense and risk of antidepressants and HRT if they had access to homeo-pathy. Of course, not all cases are as "barn door" as was Julia's. It can take months or years to obtain relief with homeopathy under some circumstances, but, surprisingly often, if you know what you are looking for, it can be as simple as this to effect a solution to even a quite severe problem. In these days of high cost medicines and expensive interventions combined with a culture of cost-cutting and rationing, surely cost-effective treatments like homeopathy should be available to anyone who could benefit, on the NHS.

† Sepia

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About Dr Angela Jones

Dr Angela Jones works in NHS general practice and also privately, using homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. Dr Jones can be contacted via the Faculty of Homeopathy on Tel: 020-7566 7800.

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